Brief history of welfare
One way or another we have always had welfare. The family unit looked after each other to the best of their ability. Religious communities made it a point to care for the weak. With Islam one is to hand over a certain amount of your income to charity.
Up until the Reformation, the monasteries had a system in place – if you paid an annual amount you would be looked after when you could no longer look after yourself. In many deserving cases those that did not make the payment were probably afforded some care too.
After the reformation, QE1 realised there was a problem and instructed local councils to cover what had been lost by shutting down the monasteries. And we have been in this situation since, sometimes generous, sometimes not. Funnily enough when less generous the less social problems there were. A good book that demonstrated this was The Welfare State We Live In by James Bartholemew.
Moving to self reliance
Every encouragement should therefore be made to encourage self-reliance from the state.
There is little evidence that children require much knowledge beyond the three Rs. They will happily learn what they are interested in and not absorb that that they are not. University education is possibly leaving even middle-sized market towns with a dearth of capable young adults to help those settlements prosper. Most university education can be learned on the job. A few notable exceptions.
For instance: My eldest has graduated in geology and has found a job using that degree, barely anyone else on her course has yet done so. Even so, without university degrees, the company could have trained her for the job within a year or so, including the post-grad training required anyway.
It feels that in many areas the degree scroll demonstrates an ability to drag yourself through boredom better than most, so capable of dragging yourself through boring tasks at work. It is a very inefficient and expensive system to merely prove that point.
Educating children to be better people is best left to the non-state sector. The establishment has created a mass of compliant drones, incapable of critical thinking, prepared to conform to their bidding. Parents should be trusted to do what’s right for their children. Not perfect, but better than the state.
Most people would still send children to standard schools, but a lot more variety could be offered, especially vocational ones. All those builders & plumbers able to earn good money and not have to sit through so many pointless years stuck, sat at a desk. In fact a good City & Guilds type apprenticeship would be a better route from the age of 13/14.
We are all living longer. If we are not working we are being provided for. If everyone lives to be one hundred and retires at sixty then we are supported for over half of our lives. It doesn’t matter how much is saved in pension pots, that is not sustainable. Imagine a world where everyone is wealthy but over 80 and retired. The wealth is irrelevant as there is no one to spend it on – let alone care for those that need it. That is extreme but shows the stress that builds when more and more people are only taking a share of the workload and not contributing.
There needs to be a good reason not to give to society if able to do so. When pensions were brought in, they were at average life expectancy. That has increased by nearly twenty years. Almost everyone is fitter and stronger, and unless very wealthy, should work until they are a lot older than at present. In fact this is already happening by market forces anyway despite socialism’s best endeavours.
Even the Russians in the 1950s thought the NHS was a bonkers left-wing disaster waiting to happen. We have a broken system. The US system is no better, subsidised healthcare insurance has made healthcare very expensive. A system that those that can afford the best get the best isn’t perfect but it is better than any other alternatives. Before the NHS we had a Heath Robinson set up, pro bono, charity, cash upfront & insurance. It was actually the best healthcare provision in the world. We must not be afraid of putting the NHS to the sword.
Also large conglomerates also control nearly all areas of health care – the universities, the media, the scientific peer-reviewed publications. There are many moral hazards built into the system. They certainly do not benefit the customer.
Bad science and lawyers can suppress knowledge of health outcomes should a person decide on a way to lead their life with a view to being healthy. Big food also contributes to these problems. There needs to be an overhaul of science journals and use of statistics that at present hide rather than reveal the truth.
The housing system is broken due to many outside forces. Hopefully the reforms outlined in this series would help make housing more affordable. Meddling with the rental market has only made life harder for those that need it.
We cannot leave people to starve or die in pain in unsanitary conditions. But it shouldn’t be a lifestyle choice.
So hospices for the poor & infirm should be provided that are clean and warm. Private rooms for all. Family rooms allowed. With at least pain relief to be given to anyone that requires it.
Old age pension
There is a case for looking after those that are over 80. But I would suggest moving old age pensions to that age over time. Even with the great strides in health, by 80 we are generally frail and getting to the stage of needing care. We should be more generous at that point than we currently are. This will allow for the average person to plan to provide up to that age, and know that they won’t be left in penury after that age.
For all the benefits of care in the community, we need more asylums. Many people who are in prisons should be in secure mental institutions. Extra spaces for others should be in place too. It would be down to local councils to contract them from the private sector.
- Provide for your own welfare – any NICs fully refundable against it. Would take most out of tax, with a bigger percentage every year.
- Government pension to be transitioned to 82. But a lot more generous.
- A group to help people get back on their feet would be developed – preferably through charity. They would help those in financial need sell off possessions for a fair price and find work. If still in hard times, arrange for transfer to a hospice.
- Row back on governments paying for university education – companies can pay where it is beneficial. Allow a lot more freedom to educate children with a narrower focus on attaining the three Rs to a usable level.
- For all the efficiency savings obtained from economies of scale with big AG, food & pharma, the moral hazards are now greater and lawyered up, they are almost untouchable. All these corporations need to be broken into many smaller pieces. Encouragement for better peer reviewing and stronger freedom of speech laws will help public criticism to be given.
- Rebuild new mental asylums
- Break up the big house builders. Build or die.
Next up – Inviting people to live with us: Part 8 – Immigration
© Jerry Mandarin 2022